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The account of Onesicritus confirms the facts of the rising of the rivers and of the absence of land breezes. He says that the sea-shore is swampy, particularly near the mouths of rivers, on account of the mud, tides, and the force of the winds blowing from the sea.

Megasthenes also indicates the fertility of India by the circumstance of the soil producing fruits and grain twice a year. Eratosthenes relates the same facts, for he speaks of a winter and a summer sowing, and of the rain at the same seasons. For there is no year, according to him, which is without rain at both those periods, whence ensues great abundance, the ground never failing to bear crops.

An abundance of fruit is produced by trees; and the roots of plants, particularly of large reeds, possess a sweetness, which they have by nature and by coction; for the water, both from rains and rivers, is warmed by the sun's rays. The meaning of Eratosthenes seems to be this, that what among other nations is called the ripening of fruits and juices, is called among these coction, and which contributes as much to produce an agreeable flavour as the coction by fire. To this is attributed the flexibility of the branches of trees, from which wheels of carriages are made, and to the same cause is imputed the growth upon some trees of wool.1 Nearchus says that their fine clothes were made of this wool, and that the Macedonians used it for mattresses and the stuffing of saddles. The Serica2 also are of a similar kind, and are made of dry byssus, which is obtained from some sort of bark of plants. He says that reeds3 yield honey, although there are no bees, and that there is a tree from the fruit of which honey is procured, but that the fruit eaten fresh causes intoxication.

1 Herod. ii. 86. Velleraque ut folüs depectant tenuia Seres? Virg. Geor. ii. 121.

2 Cloth of silk.

3 The sugar-cane.

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